James Bond actor Daniel Craig was set to have a massive effect on the Marvel Cinematic Universe in Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness (2022) as one of the Illuminati members, but COVID-19 had other plans.
Against all odds, director Sam Raimi tediously crafted Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic. Enduring countless reshoots and bringing in actors for memorable cameos at the last minute, Daniel Craig (Knives Out, Skyfall) was reportedly set to star as Reed Richards/Mr. Fantastic before fan-favorite John Krasinksi took over.
Given that The Office alum and The Quiet Place (2018) creator Krasinski had been the ideal fan-casting of Reed Richards for darn near a half a decade, it seems a bit of a stretch to have Daniel Craig play the role, but Marvel reportedly eyed the Bond man:
Daniel Craig was originally set to play Reed Richards in #MultiverseOfMadness but backed out due to COVID-related risks.
Daniel Craig was originally set to play Reed Richards in #MultiverseOfMadness but backed out due to COVID-related risks.👀
— Matt Ramos (@therealsupes) May 14, 2022
Before things get out of hand, many reports claim that Daniel Craig was courted for the role of Balder the Brave, explaining why the seventh seat at the Illuminati in Earth-838 was empty.
Upon storming the Illuminati headquarters in Earth-838 and brutally murdering Captain Marvel (Lashana Lynch), Peggy Carter/Captain Carter (Hayley Atwell), Black Bolt (Anson Mount), and Reed Richards/Mr. Fantastic (John Krasinski), Wanda Maximoff/The Scarlet Witch (Elizabeth Olsen), attacks the brain behind the organization — wiping out the Illuminati in under five minutes.
Nonetheless, fans noticed that these heroes, as well as Professor X (Sir Patrick Stewart) and Baron Karl Mordo (Chiwetel Ejiofor), didn’t fill up all seven of the Illuminati seats.
While it’s plausible that the seventh was left open for the remembrance of Doctor Strange (Earth-838), early reports suggested that the Marvel comics character Balder the Brave was set to appear in the movie.
Nonetheless, the risk of contracting COVID-19 while on set prevented Daniel Craig from appearing as any Marvel hero, leaving that seat open for question on exactly who completed the Illuminati.
Marvel Studios has countless opportunities to introduce more Multiversal heroes and figures with upcoming projects such as Secret Wars and more, but it’s interesting to wonder precisely how Daniel Craig would have changed the events of Multiverse of Madness.
More about Doctor Strange
Dr. Stephen Strange casts a forbidden spell that opens a portal to the multiverse. However, a threat emerges that may be too big for his team to handle.
All bets are off for Marvel’s Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness. Benedict Cumberbatch leads this mind-shattering Marvel movie, with Rachel McAdams (Christine Palmer), Chiwetel Ejiofor (Karl Mordo), Benedict Wong (Wong), Xochitl Gomez (America Chavez), Elizabeth Olsen (Wanda Maximoff/Scarlet Witch), and Sir Patrick Stewart (Professor X) all supporting the Sorceror Supreme.
The Kevin Feige production features numerous Stephen Strange’s, including Sinister Strange, Strange Supreme, etc.
The Marvel Universe is becoming much more than iconic characters/Earth’s Mightiest Heroes like Star-Lord/Peter Quill (Chris Pratt), Tony Stark/Iron Man (Robert Downey, Jr.), Steve Rogers/Captain America (Chris Evans), Thor (Chris Hemsworth), Doctor Strange (Benedict Cumberbatch), the Winter Soldier (Sebastian Stan), Hawkeye/Clint Barton (Jeremy Renner), Vision (Paul Bettany), Black Widow/Natasha Romanoff (Scarlett Johansson), Bucky Barnes/Winter Soldier (Sebastian Stan) and Captain Marvel/Carol Danvers (Brie Larson).
Tom Holland’s Peter Parker/Spider-Man Avenger is leading the way for Marvel Cinematic Universe newcomers Kate Bishop, Ms. Marvel/Kamala Khan (Iman Vellani), Moon Knight (Oscar Isaac), Agatha Harkness (Kathryn Hahn), She-Hulk (Tatiana Maslany), Eternals’ Thena (Angelina Jolie), and more — especially with his next Spider-Man trilogy that’s currently in the works.
Who do you think Daniel Craig was supposed to play? Comment below!